The facts about Kennel Cough (Bordetella) and Kennel Cough Protection

By November 11, 2016 Pet Treatment, Pet Vaccination

The Facts about Kennel Cough Protection

Our veterinarians have seen an increase in cases of kennel cough in dogs during October and the first part of November.

At Royal York Animal Hospital, we include immunization for kennel cough (Bordetella Bronchiseptica) as a part of our core set of vaccines for all of our canine patients.  So, at times when there is a surge in the number of dogs with kennel cough, the question arises……..: “If my pet has been vaccinated for kennel cough, then why did he/she get sick?”….

Kennel Cough Protection for Pets


The answer lies in the nature of the disease itself, and in some situations the timing of vaccination can also be an important factor.

  • Kennel cough is a SYNDROME – this means it can be caused by numerous  complex combinations of different bacteria and viruses. Every case is different. The Bordetella vaccine is specifically targeting the Bordetella bacteria which is a very important and highly-probable component of this disease, but it is not the ONLY cause.
  •  Being vaccinated each year does not mean that a pet will never get kennel cough – depending on what specific combination of  organisms are involved in their particular infection their level of protection may not be adequate to fend it off completely. Also keep in mind that some animals just inherently produce a better response to a given vaccine compared to others.
  • Timing can also be very important especially when dogs are coming in for boarding, as it impacts how effective the vaccine will be for protection. The intranasal kennel cough vaccine requires 3-5 days to be effective, and the injectible form can take a week or longer. Keep this in mind when planning your boarding visits.

We all want to do our best to prevent disease, and these are just a few important things to keep in mind when trying to keep our animals healthy and safe – especially for dogs who frequent doggy day cares or public dog parks or other places where dogs are together.

The Facts about Kennel Cough Protection

Kennel cough is very contagious between dogs.


For more information about Kennel Cough please check out Dr. Lilla Yan’s blog “Why did my Dog get Kennel Cough

Dr. Annelle Valentin

Royal York Animal Hospital, 4222 Dundas Street West, Etobicoke, Ontario L6J 3Y1 416-231-9293

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